Part Rant, Part Gratefulness
Through prayer and tribulation I finally have come to the decision that I indeed will switch barns.
There are several problems at my barn, but it was only until recently that I came fully aware of it. My trainer at first was supportive, in training. Looking for more experience, I posted an ad on Craigslist offering help to anyone in barns in exchange for riding time and experience. A woman just a few streets down from my current trainer contacted me, and we began to discuss things. I brought it up to my trainer to see how she was, and apparently she is terrible with children, with horses, and the horse she put her daughter on did nothing but ride in little circles.
It's irony, really, though. The first horse I rode wouldn't move, so I switched to another horse. When I switched to English I was taken off the horse I had grown a bond with (even though he bolted on me on the road for no reason other than he got a little excited over some neighbouring chicks) and brought back to this horse. In the twenty + hours I've been in an English saddle, I've trotted maybe four times. In my last lesson she wouldn't even walk straight she was so barn sour, and she drove me into a pole and sprained my knee.
I didn't even get a sorry.
At first I thought it was because they were rescue horses, but I think I'm getting it. Over the time she got worse and worse when I brought up buying a horse and boarding it there. That and it was like $400 for a partial board, and there are NICE facilities that don't look like junk that do full boards for less. Her horses are practically starving, are not entirely well behaved, and yet it's my fault. I felt over time like I was riding just for the purposes of conditioning the horse, but why would a lesson horse have to be encouraged to trot? Why can't they just do it like a normal horse would? It's so frustrating.
Anyways, I was finally SO sick of this, I decided to go ahead and say "You know what, I'm just going to go ahead and get myself a horse." I know /how/ to do the basics, it's just the getting used to the balancing and such in an English saddle and stuff. Anyhow, I was replying to an ad on craigslist for an Arab, and this horse kind of clicked.
This is actually someone that works with this person she hates so much. But really, I don't think she has room to speak--her horses are starving and ran me into a pole (because it is SO hard to trot around a circle in an arena and actually go straight, and I got in trouble for not kicking her every halfbeat of the trot to keep her going =/). She sent me pictures. We were speaking about boarding, which is cheap (and I want to look at the facilities when I go to look at this horse), and she has a covered jumping arena and an outdoor dressage arena (is what she said). This horse is 22 years old, I think has been used as a lesson horse, has competed in what I want to do, but will be good to help me learn.
When she sent me pics, she thought to tell me that it was one of the handicapped students in the pictures. Now my current trainer was wanting to do handicapped, but she says she's done all sorts, from amputees to people like what I have. Since she brought it up, I asked how the horse was. She said she's swerved to stop people from falling if they lost their balance, and if you fell off she'd just look down at you like "how'd you get down there?" She sounds like a total sweetheart, and I'm supposed to get a video soon. Because of my limited experience doing English, I'm not too concerned about how she acts under my saddle, but I'm going to pay attention heavily to how she acts on the ground, and with another person on her, and I'm also going to check out the facilities. The woman I've been speaking to works there, but isn't the BO, but she seems /very/ friendly. My old trainer was basically saying I couldn't get a horse (and if I did anyways, she was like you HAVE to board it here). I don't feel any pressure now, but she did say that I could use the barn tack (which is what hte horse is using now) until I buy my own.
I felt bad at first, but not so much now. Thinking more and more about it I realise her horses weren't being taken care of well, weren't well behaved, and I wasn't getting anything out of my lessons anyways. She wasn't teaching me, I was basically just practicing because I didn't have a horse of my own. If this works out, it'll be good because I need to be at an English barn anyways, and I would be able to take lessons on my own horse.
I /really/ hope this all works out.